Poe's Ligeia

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Poe’s Ligeia
Ligeia is another short story by Poe, which can be characterized by Gothic elements and mood. However, if we examine the story more closely we will realize that the story becomes Gothic just during the second half of the tale. The first half is predominantly just the description of the beloved lady. Her portrayal is very detailed and sometimes even extremely positive. The narrator put special emphasis on the description of her eyes, which were “most brilliant of black, and, far over them, hung jetty lashes of great length.” (Poe, p.112) Ligeia’s hair was also very dark, which the narrator describes in the following way: “the raven–black, the glossy, the luxuriant and naturally-curling tresses…” (Poe, p.111) Even from this short description we can see that Ligeia can be characterized with dark colour. Then the narrator spends at least another page to glorify the beloved lady’s intelligence and knowledge. There is one more important fact that has to be mentioned accordance with the narrator’s relationship with Ligeia, and that is that he did not know the lady’s last name. During the first half of the story this fact makes the appearance of the lady somewhat inferior to the man. She might appear in front of the reader just as a lover, whose paternal name is not even important. As opposed to Ligea the other woman of the story, Lady Rowena Trevanion, of Tremaine is introduced with her full name even at her first appearance. This is one of the first striking differences between the two ladies. The introduction with a person’s full name always gives its users more respect and worth, which is given to Lady Rowena but not to Lady Ligeia in Poe’s story. The other eye-catching difference between the two ladies is their appearance. While Lady Ligeia was a “dark woman”, Lady Rowena was “fair-haired and blue-eyed” woman. Further on this is all that we know...
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